If you’re a citizen of the United States of America who’d want to bring your foreign fiance to the US to get married, then you’ll need to file a petition for alien fiance, Form I-129F. Registering for this form is the first step to getting a K-1 nonimmigrant visa or fiance visa.

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Photo by Agus Dietrich on Unsplash

You and your fiance should marry each other within ninety days of your foreign fiance entering the US as a nonimmigrant to get a fiance visa. The marriage should be valid, which means you and your fiance have a genuine and legitimate intent to build a life together.

Moreover, marriage shouldn’t be for the intent of getting an immigration benefit. For a little help, here’s a quick rundown of what you should know about fiance visas for US citizens. Take a read!

Eligibility

You might qualify to bring your foreign fiance to the United States through a fiance visa if you carry out the following conditions:

  • You are a citizen of the United States
  • Both you and your foreign fiance plan to marry one another within ninety days of the admission of your fiance to the US on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa
  • Both you and your husband-to be or wife-to-be are legally free to marry
  • Both you and your husband-to be or wife-to-be have met each other in person once every two years before registering  the petition. You can ask a waiver for this requirement if you can prove that meeting in person would:
    • Lead to great hardship to the US citizen petitioner
    • Violate long-established and strict customs of your foreign fiance

Process

Bringing your fiance to the US takes a lot of processes. It involves or entails US Customs and Border Protection, the US Department of State, and USCIS. At each level in the process, security and background checks might be implemented on both you and your fiance.

It might include checks in multiple databases for criminal history, national security, and other info about you and your fiance. These checks are performed through biometric or biographic information, names, and fingerprints.

Step One

According to the form guidelines, you need to file for the petition for the foreign fiance. The Form I-129F asks USCIS to identify and acknowledge the relationship between you and your fiance. The USCIS will review your documents and petition submitted.

They will mail you a request for proof if they require additional information or documentation. If you successfully build your eligibility or qualification, the USCIS will approve your petition and acknowledge the relationship.

If USCIS denies your application, you will get a notification of the reasons for the denial. Lastly, the approved form will be sent to the DOS NVC (National Visa Center).

Step Two

The National Visa Center sends the approved form to the consulate where your foreign fiance will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa or the US Embassy. Then, the consulate or US Embassy will notify you when the scheduled visa interview for your fiance is.

Next, your fiance must apply for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa and should bring the necessary documents or forms to the interview. The US Department of State will determine whether your fiance is eligible for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa.

Step Three

If the US Department of State sends you a K-1 nonimmigrant visa, then your foreign fiance can go to the US and pursue admission at a port of entry while the visa is valid. Like any visa, a K-1 nonimmigrant visa doesn’t assure access or entrance to the US. A Customs and Border Protection Officer will decide whether to let your fiance enter the US.

Step Four

Once your fiance is given a K-1 nonimmigrant visa, you and your fiance have ninety days to marry. Failure to marry within ninety days will automatically expire the K-1 nonimmigrant status.

Keep in mind that it can’t be extended. Therefore, your fiance needs to leave the US before the ninety days ends if you don’t marry. If your fiance doesn’t depart, he or she will violate the US immigration law, resulting in deportation.

Step Five

If you married your fiance within ninety days of your fiance’s admission to the US, your spouse could now apply for a Green Card. The USCIS will review your spouse’s application for a green card. Usually, both you and your spouse need to attend an interview.

Takeaway

The fiance visa is given or offered to the fiance of a US citizen, permitting that person to enter the US. When the alien fiance comes to the US, he or she can marry a US citizen and if possible, apply for permanent residency under the immediate relative classification. The name of this process is called Adjustment of Status.

However, take note that applying for permanent residency is not required. If you’ve married or plan to marry your fiance outside the US or your fiance is a permanent resident in the US, then your fiance or spouse isn’t eligible for a fiance visa.